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Artwork symbolizing South Korean abductees in North Korea on display at garden show

2024-07-23 04:42:22      点击:663
This <strong></strong>photo shows the Garden of Three Forget-me-not Blossoms, an artwork featuring a symbol of South Korean abductees, detainees and prisoners of war in North Korea, at the Seoul International Garden Show in Seoul, Thursday. Yonhap

This photo shows the Garden of Three Forget-me-not Blossoms, an artwork featuring a symbol of South Korean abductees, detainees and prisoners of war in North Korea, at the Seoul International Garden Show in Seoul, Thursday. Yonhap

The unification ministry on Thursday unveiled an artwork inspired by three forget-me-nots at a garden show in an effort to raise public awareness of South Koreans detained in North Korea.

Earlier this year, the government created an image of three blue forget-me-nots as a symbol of South Korean abductees, detainees and prisoners of the 1950-53 Korean War in hope of their safe repatriation from the repressive regime.

The artwork by artist Nanan Kang, comprising a glass greenhouse filled with the floral symbols, was made public at the Seoul International Garden Show in Seoul on Thursday. The garden show will run until Oct. 8, according to the ministry.

An opening ceremony marking the installation of the "Garden of Three Forget-me-not Blossoms" was held, attended by Unification Minister Kim Yung-ho, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, families of the victims and officials from civic groups.

Currently, six South Koreans are being detained in North Korea, including three missionaries -- Kim Jung-wook, Choi Chun-gil and Kim Kook-kie -- whose whereabouts and fates are unknown.

Separately, 516 South Koreans have yet to return home among an estimated 3,835 people who were kidnapped by North Korea after the Korean War, according to government data.

At least 60,000 prisoners of war are also estimated to have not come back home or gone missing after being detained in North Korea. A total of 80 POWs have returned home since 1994, but only nine had been alive as of March.

"We've set up this garden in a bid to raise public awareness about the issue of South Koreans who are now detained in North Korea and have yet to return home," Minister Kim told reporters after the ceremony.

He also called for the international community's attention to the long-pending issue so as to urge Pyongyang to return the South Korean detainees.

Artist Kang said she has joined the project to install the artwork in desperate hope for their safe repatriation.

"Three forget-me-nots in the garden are flowers that I've painted on paper, not real ones. As the paper flowers do not wither, I hope you will remember the meaning of the message (carried by the artwork) for a long time," she said. (Yonhap)

 

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